Archive for May, 2005

Update and Two Poems…

The partial hospitalization program is something very different to anything I have ever experienced before. The professionals there are very well trained and very respectful. Coming home at night and having time to live somewhat normally is advantageous. Today I saw the doctor and he seemed pleased with my progress. He left me on Geodon and the fish oil for now. He discussed another medication but I have no insurance to cover medication so if we can avoid adding more into the mix I would like to do so.

 

I am so worried about my financial situation and the fact that I stand to lose my Medicaid when I so need this program. I know that there is no way I can explain away all the chaos I caused in my finances while in grips of mania. I cannot even fathom what I was doing. A caseworker is never going to comprehend it and without understanding my benefits are blown.

 

I talked to someone who used to be a close friend of mine yesterday evening and she was very supportive. I cried a lot during our conversation because I am still hurting so much but she said that I sounded better than when she had talked to me about two weeks ago. I really don’t feel much better, but I guess I am progressing. She spoke to me about purpose which is what everybody seems to bring up whenever I say I really rather not be alive. Purpose just seems some word that is used to mock. Yet at the same time I know within that there must be purpose for me. I actually wrote about it yesterday morning, but it is mythic to me right now.

 

Here’s the poem I wrote yesterday morning:

 

Survival

 

I need a little hope

To hold me, to guide me

Faithfully on my way.

I need a little love

To lift me, to bring me

Safely through each day.

I must believe in myself

To accomplish anything

Of worth as I go along the way.

I must remember

I have purpose and reason

Or I will be lost in every day.

 

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Monday, May 23, 2005

 

I am not having the time to visit everyone’s blogs like I used to do and I am very sorry. I am not really settled enough to accomplish much of anything right now. I am very restless and uneasy. I want to do things but I have trouble with a lot of things. Mostly I want to fix all my problems and I have no means so I feel useless. I want to do art, but subject evades me. I think depression is causing a lack of focus and loss of attention. I pace a lot and mostly want to talk to somebody, but I don’t have that many people who want to talk to me.

 

I appreciate all of you who are still reading me and leaving supportive comments. It helps to know that you care about me. Sometimes I feel so lonely, even in group I feel isolated. I know that is crazy, but I feel it. I am really warped.

 

I noticed a comment about BlogShares and wanted to point out that in the March archives there is a tutorial on that subject. I covered a lot about it that I learned as a new player. BlogShares is very similar to an old computer stock market game I played in the very early nineties and I seem to have a knack for understanding how to work with stock type games. I have some stocks that have gotten too high for trading now because I was inactive during most of April and I cannot sell them off to get rid of them which is a liability and makes my standing messed up.

 

Alex has not called so I do not know what he is thinking and I miss him terribly. He was so disgusted and angry at me when he left that I am at a loss as to whether I should call to find out how he is or not. He was saying that I just failed to live up to my potential and that I lacked motivation to accomplish anything. All understanding that I have an illness seemed to have left him. He is with his father now I guess, I really do not know. I am worried he may not come back here. I guess I deserve that, I have failed so badly now. It hurts to think he may leave when I have tried so hard to be a good mother. I guess I was not that either. I thought I was always there for him and did my best to make sure he had all he needed even though it meant going into debt. I guess I just did not do enough.

 

If I had worked maybe he would respect me, but I really have not been able to handle the stress of a job for years. I am so paranoid in public that it is hard to function even in shopping situations. I think maybe on very good days I might be capable of working, but there have not been that many very good days. I want to try to work again, but I am not so sure that even at the end of this treatment program that I am in that I can do it. On days when I hallucinate it would be very hard to function normally and that happens quite a lot. Mostly I can cope with it here at home and do something to take my mind off of it, but it is disconcerting in public situations. To avoid hallucinations totally requires so much medication that I am utterly sedated. I mostly cope with it without mentioning it much because though the voices worry me I know they are not real and I figure there is not much that can be done but ignore them. I listen to music or just engage my mind elsewhere, I cope. Right now I seem in a good phase as far as the audible hallucinations go, but it is not a sure thing it will remain that way. Stress and lack of sleep or anything really can effect my state of mind.

 

I want to be "normal", but just to function in a controlled environment is sometimes hard. I hate that I cannot do everything others believe I should, but sometimes it is well beyond me. I know I am gifted and talented but I also know I have very real limitations. If I can somehow minimize the limits maybe I can accomplish more. I want to do so, but I do not know if it is possible.

 

Right now I am just working on becoming strong enough to cope with all the disasters my manic episode caused. I have to deal with that manifestation of illness now and try to improve a little daily and avoid an outbreak in the schizophrenic symptoms. The visual hallucinations Friday evening were enough to warn that I could have something critical develop with that at this time too. My chemistry is not able to handle too much right now. I am getting stronger, but there is a lot that is not equalized.

 

Seeing What Is Real

 

I walk into the room

I see strangers

I fear their judgment

I fear not fitting in

I feel alone and odd.

 

I take a seat

I do not belong

I listen to the stories

I see the likeness

I understand.

 

I fear speaking

Tears flow

Someone notices

Tissues are passed

Connection is made.

 

I still feel different

But I speak

I offer knowledge

I explain experience

Others understand.

 

We are all strangers

Wanting to belong

Our experience unites us

We gain strength

When we share ourselves.

 

I leave the room

Having friends

I know they care

We share a bond

We are all one.

 

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

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Tardy Post

I am trying to hang in and I guess I am actually doing a little better, but hopelessness daunts me. My situation is so beyond my control that I cannot see digging out of it.

 

I went to the aftercare program Thursday and Friday and the doctor there shifted my medicines around somewhat. On Thursday evening he wanted me to leave off the Geodon and only take the Depakote because when he saw me Thursday I was zombie-like. On Friday morning I was less stiff but I had slept almost none during the night. He then took me off the Depakote and said to take the Geodon in the evening. By Friday evening I was having visual hallucinations. I have not done that in some time. Getting the Geodon back into my system stopped that yesterday and today. I feel better than I have since being in the hospital and am mostly calm. They will evaluate me Monday to see if I need something to control mania. I do not feel myself slipping into that though.

 

I have some depression that is hanging over me but there is no wonder in that considering my situation. I received the paperwork yesterday that will seal my losing what partial Medicaid benefits I get. I unfortunately have a life insurance policy so Alex would be taken care of if I die and the cash value on the policy has grown to the point that I will lose what little benefit I have been getting. Seems like every financial demon that could rear its head is doing it at once.

 

I was talking to my Mom today and I was saying it is unbelievable that I could be so gifted, talented, and intelligent yet have absolutely nothing to show for it. I am artistic, with the ability to paint, draw, design, I can write poetry and prose that moves people, I can motivate and inspire people who are in therapeutic environments, I can teach children and adults, but I have no capacity to earn money with any of that simply because I do not know how to do so. I lack the credentials to be hired and I lack the belief in myself to market myself.

 

I know that I am a rare person, but at the same time there is little faith in my abilities. I am awash in a world where I do not know how to survive. I read the last poem I posted here to my Mom today and she said she thought it would sell. I think it would sell too, but one poem is a very little thing in a sea that is drowning me. I do not even know where to begin the process. I need something life changing now.

 

Alex has gone away with no return date. He says he cannot be around me now. I have to get positive and take action in my life. He has decided that I am able to do whatever it takes to be self-sufficient. The only thing holding me up according to him is my lack of self-respect, self-esteem, and self-confidence. His talk ended with him telling me to fuck off so I expect he may not come back home.

 

I do not know what to do now. I am supposed to attend this aftercare program and so far it seems helpful, but it is not getting my other issues solved. I need to be in several places at once.

 

Carrot

 

Out there

Just beyond my reach

Sits the prize I know

Could be mine to own.

 

I feel

The desire to make

Plain my realistic claim

But I hesitate with fear.

 

Somewhere

Within my heart

The faith resides

Yet my mind cannot believe.

 

I am

Torn apart

Because myself

Battles with my plight.

 

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Sunday, May 22, 2005

9 Comments

Thought for Today…

We Forever Are

 

Varied Blooms

Exploding Stars

Examples of Creativity

Set loose by the Expanse

That Indwells the Vastness

Of Whatever we can Comprehend

That is Majestic in Our Universe.

 

We each are

Individual and Unique

Filled with Loving Spirit

Reaching out to somehow touch

What is Greater than Our Grasp

We rise above the moment and shine

Inspiring Hope when Darkness tries to Blind.

 

Our interaction

Spurs intense reaction

So that from one to another

A spark may grow into a flame

To start a fire that may eventually

Light the way from deep despair

To guide to day’s brilliant light.

 

We are not

Alone nor Strangers

We each belong one among

Another and we abide because

We know deep inside that no force

That comes against us can take the love

We hold for one another totally away.

 

We shine

With the light

That is not quenched

We glow with beauty

That does not ever die

We are the full blown

Expression of Everlasting Love.

 

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Thursday, May 19, 2005

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May 17, 2005

Yesterday was Alex’s seventeenth birthday and I took him out to dinner. My final luxurious expenditure until I figure out how the heck I am going to fix this mess I have made. Alex had a steak for the first time in memory at a restaurant and he loved it. I was proud. I wanted him to have something to remember.

 

My brother said something that cut me to the bone again yesterday, but I cannot let that define me. His opinion has little worth to me anyway considering how he regards me.

 

I was not expecting Jesse to attack me about Alex last night but he did, I just added him to the list of people who want to rant when I don’t meet their expectations. I think at least he received in kind, because I was rather upset when he lit into me.

 

Today I saw Brenda and Dr. Klopper and that went well. I think I must be doing better for Dr. Klopper to move my appointments out to a month again. I still am not doing as well as I would like and Brenda is  terribly concerned that I need more therapy, but there is some improvement.

 

The intensive after-care program starts Thursday, but I have a feeling I will not stay with it long. There are just too many other demands on my time. I really feel a need to take charge and redefine my standing as someone strong enough to play tough. I know in reality I am somewhat weak because of my illnesses but I have a very strong and resourceful intellect and there must be some way to use that to better my situation. It may leave others to fend for themselves more, but I have been taking care of some people at my expense for a long time.

 

I think my resume sucks and I really don’t see how I am going to get a job. I am not stupid and I am skilled in quite a few things. My computer knowledge is rather deep and I am very good with a cash register. I can sell things too. Surely there has to be someone who will give me a chance despite the fact I have not been in the work force in a very long time.

 

I am not very happy right now, in fact hopelessness and depression are wearing mightily on my heart and soul. I feel like everyone here in real-life is trying to steal what little goodness I have achieved from me. Mom said last night that I had a purpose and I just told her that I no longer could follow that line. Purpose is something one has when they are able to accomplish something of merit. I am going nowhere now and headed backwards fast. That is not a gainful thing.

 

Maybe it will turn around sometime, but everything now and near looks dark and foreboding and my energy to make it all good is limited.

 

I want to reach out and grab something positive, but I don’t know where to turn now. All the influences I turn to have closed their doors to me and turned their backs. I have entered regions where the markings say Abandon All Hope.

 

I think I have to reach inside to find the spark but fear that it has finally gone out. I just don’t think that I can light it all up right now and that is always what has held me up before.

 

I hope each of you has better days and times filled with inspiration.

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Of Counselors…

Counselors were not much good for me during many years when they so earnestly tried to help me. There was a wall between us. A silence I would not break. I could speak to a point then I would close up. There were others to be protected by my quiet. The wall was the sexual abuse my father heaped on me all my life. I could not reveal it for it would destroy my world and the dependant worlds of others. My mother was a beneficiary of this silence and my father was saved from prison by my quiet.

 

After he died in 1996 I finally told my current counselor what I had buried for so many years. We began to work through the accumulated damage of so many years. Mary was her name and I owe her a great deal for being gentle with me and listening to a story too disturbing for many to hear. She worked with me tirelessly for a few years, but shortly after I wrote a poem to her detailing the greatness I saw in her she moved out of county mental health. At the time I was handed over to a new counselor who Mary told, "Jo Ann is the kind of person who could have books written about her."

 

My new counselor Braswell did not even get to see me for many months because I was bedridden due to my pregnancy with twins who had twin to twin transfusion syndrome. That pregnancy ended when one twin died in my uterus and I had to make the horrible decision to terminate the remaining twin due to complications described by the neonatal specialist. When Braswell began to see me our connection was immediate and I told her some of the darkest secrets still hidden in me. She reacted with love and acceptance. Her kindness gave me hope that I could live in the world with others who valued me.

 

When I told Braswell how afraid of Hell I was because of the unpardonable sin, she went to find all she could to allay my fears. She went to authorities in her church and asked for clarification and came back armed with facts to set my fears aside. She loved me enough to go out beyond her own self and search for help for me.

 

While Braswell was still seeing me Dr. Klopper offered me to get involved with a trainee named Brenda. She was working toward licensure from her RN status. It was free to me and allowed me to have more frequent visits. Brenda began recording our sessions with my permission to help her get through school. Not long after Brenda finished her studies Braswell moved from county mental health to a wonderful private facility. Now I cannot see her anymore.

 

Recently Brenda has moved to only two days a week at Dr. Klopper’s office. This has put me in the position where everyone wants me in the intensive after-care program. I know there is still enough of all the damage that wrecks havoc on me still buried inside to cause me a great deal of problems. I am working on it all, but my emotions are not stable or healed.

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Three Poems and Where Am I…

The world does not stop no matter how much I want off. Things just progress and get more confounded in my life. Really I guess this is for the best, however if I were able to derail for a while it would make all things easier with which to deal.

 

Today I slept in and the usual nightmares came into play. It became obvious in one dream that my father who is always a god figure in my dreams believes I will go to hell. The situation being the one where I am forced to live the biblical part of Revelation’s Whore of Babylon. Always nice to dwell there even in dreams. This scenario is the exact one the voices play out on me when I go into a Schizophrenic phase.

 

I am actually doing very well considering all the crap my conscious and unconscious are throwing at me. I read The Raven last night and that was like going home. I had not visited with that one of my favorite geniuses for a very long while. Thankfully the book was inside instead of out in the storage building where I believed it to be. Poe is such a delight even though his process of thought is often very dark. I relate to him in ways and for reasons that go deeper than words. He knew his share of despair.

 

Arise and Go

 

When all seems to hold

You mired to the ground

Realize you are not bound

But have the power bold

Within you always sound

To rise above your surround.

 

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Sunday, May 15,2005

 

I wish I could get away for a little while. Mother and I are not getting along at all and I really do not need the negativity she heaps on me. I figure everyone regards her as a saint and me as an imposition so I lose. I love Mom, but she gives me a difficult time on the best of occasions and now is not that sort of time. She is 75 years old and I have never been good enough to live up to her expectations. She is highly critical and often abrasive. Crotchety is a good word to describe her mood most of the time.

 

Alex just listens from the safety of his room, and when I look in on him he gives a shrug of his broad shoulders. He says, "I’m not in on this. Ya’ll just go on and on." I wish I had his distance and standing. He has a fortunate position of being a non-combatant. I must be defensive or be lost in the assault.

 

I hope tomorrow goes well although I expect it to be stressful for me. I have to go by the bank and try to attend to some stuff there. I also must go by our primary care physician’s office to pick up some orders for Mom and I. I am going to try to attend to some of the bills tomorrow and make some effort to catch up some of what is so behind. I know that the creditors will be difficult to deal with, but I have the hand of being still very ill and doing the best I can to resolve things. If they are hateful they may lose big because I am not unwilling to seek legal counsel. I could very easily be deemed irresponsible for anything due to my mental state and the fact I am basically a pauper. I am still willing to do my best to live up to my responsibilities, but I will not be sent back to the hospital by abuse.

 

I cannot make it clear how truly fragile I am still. I am not even prepared for it myself. I look through poems I have written over the years and even though they are not really sad they bring me to tears because they express the recurrent pain that has been my life so well. I just want to put the pain in a box so that it stops ambushing me when I am not expecting it.

 

I go to other favorite blogs and I sit in tears over the hurt my friends are suffering. I want to help and I know all I am capable of is becoming more mired in my own mess. All of it seems so unfair to me. If I did not care I would not hurt, but caring solves nothing, it just makes me aware of my own uselessness.

 

This poem was written many years ago and broke me into big cascading teardrops that ran tracks down my cheeks just moments ago:

 

Broken Dreams

 

Crystal palaces

Pretty glass houses

Showed I you

In a land of dreams.

 

Walk softly

With gentle care

Warned I you

Among the fragile buildings.

 

You heard me not,

But went your own way

Oblivious of the hurt

You were causing.

 

Crystal palaces in ruin

Pretty glass houses laid waste

Now show I you

In a broken land of shattered dreams.

 

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

 

This is one of my all-time favorites of the poems I have written. It is very old:

 

Confidant

 

Whisper, quiet, secrets in my ears.

Tell me stories

Which no one else can hear.

 

Reveal to me

The depths of your feelings;

Even the ones you always hide.

 

Share with me

Your dreams and aspirations;

No matter how unrealistic they may seem.

 

Show me

Your favorite achievements;

The things that make you proud.

 

Give me a chance

To share your joy and sadness;

Let me wipe away your tears.

 

Do not hold back,

Do not lie;

With me, there is nothing to hide.

 

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

4 Comments

Still Sinking…

Alex’s grandparents came and took Alex and I to Longhorn for lunch. We had cheese fries for an appetizer. I had a steak that was absolutely divine. This time it was cooked to perfection medium rare on the rare side. I love it when the cook knows what I mean. Some sear the outside too much until it is charred, but this time it was perfect. Alex ate a bite and was impressed. I keep hoping to convince him to make the leap from burgers to steak, but he still has not graduated to that degree of finesse.

 

They liked our Jeep and looked at it. We talked some about my illness and they seem more open to me than usual. Alex went to bed and left me up with them. He was up late last night and wanted a nap. I was surprised that they decided to give me some money to help with our bills. They donated $300.00 and I was very grateful. I know that solving this mess is much larger than such a sum, but at least it showed they cared about our plight.

 

I am not sure there is much I can do about all the creditors, but next week maybe I can try to call some of them and explain what has caused the current problems. I do not expect any understanding, but at least I can tell them the truth. I am not a bad person, I am just in circumstances beyond my control. Truth is my control has been limited for many years.

 

I read the comment by Reeking Havoc today and I was thinking about what he said. The thing is that Schizophrenia has been a prominent part of my diagnosis for many years. I often have audible hallucinations and I suffer from delusions on a good many of my better days. Mostly I just function in spite of this. The Schizo-affective disorder tag was only applied to me since 1997 when I began to evidence huge amounts of depression as a part of my everyday life. I have been on anti-psychotics anytime I was medicated since 1981 and on anti-depressants since 1997. I will go off meds when I am not under stress and function normally for some time on rare occasion. I hate meds. They take away my ability to be normal and I am not happy with them ever. Since 2000 I have been continuously medicated. I have been on Geodon and Zoloft all during those years and also have been on the hideous drug called Seroquel for part of that time. I came off of it in January of this year. It was causing sleep disturbances that I could not tolerate any longer. It had also caused weight gain that was beginning to reverse before my latest hospitalization. Now I have had a full blown manic psychosis which probably pushes me over into the category of bi-polar too. I am now on Geodon to treat the psychotic tendencies of the Schizophrenic part of my disease and Depakote which is a mood stabilizer to treat the Bi-polar symptoms.

 

This past week the delusional bits of my Schizophrenic parts were very apparent to me. I was thinking in the erratic and laughable ways that tell me I am being just a little too bizarre for reality. It is not really dangerous it just lets me know how totally insane I really am. I think things that are way to weird about normal situations and if I allow it to go on I wing out of reality totally. I just monitor it and let my counselors know I am becoming loony. I find it mostly benign, just so long as it is not accompanied by voices that are virulent in their enmity toward me. I can even deal with bleed through voices usually, this happens when machines, televisions, radios, printers, electronic devices, and other miscellaneous noise producers seem to be projecting voices, say when many are running at once. I deal with this often by simply putting on headphones and listening to music. A good walkman is indispensable for me for this purpose and was recommended by Jeff and then seconded by Dr. Klopper. I can usually calm myself when I am even having audible hallucinations just by listening to my own discs.

 

I have learned a lot of coping skills over the years and can seem rather normal, but the reality of what  I live with is only hidden by a faint surface veneer. I am very scared by this new manifestation of yet another type of dreaded disease. I feel reasonably safe to find very little hope for achieving any of my dreams and I still had a lot I wanted to do. I have lived an impoverished and inadequate existence for so many years and now it just looks like more of it to come. I hate my life, I never achieve any of the high points I so desire.

 

Mother is putting me down again. She wants to blame me. She has no conception of what living the life I have been forced to live has done to me. I have lived to protect her for so many years and even now she cannot realize that my life was hell on earth before I can even remember. She has no idea how the abuse I was subject to and her own brand of scathing hurtfulness tore my being apart. The kind of damage I was doled out is irreparable.

 

Again I understand why others in such situations choose suicide. Living is not a choice of lesser pain. I could let go all this and be released into something no doubt better. Dealing with the problems is continuing hellish hurt. I do not even know why I remain, there is no sense to it. I have been suicidal before, trying several times, but it never worked. I guess I have become convinced I cannot even do that right. People tell me that since God did not allow me to die that I must have some purpose, I find that doubtful. I just cannot do anything successfully. I find it laughable that God gives a care one way or another about me. Mostly He seems some bystander who watches. My faith is at very low ebb. I find little solace in prayer, it seems just empty words to some anonymous entity.

 

I wonder what is good about writing in this blog. I seem to myself so cheerless that it would be better did I leave others to find other more worthwhile material. I know I cannot be proud of anything I say here in such dark moods. I pour forth darkness on the world. I can only speak from a heart so broken and despairing of life that it bleeds. I relate to Poe in his deep darkness and may go and find him again as he is the only writer that appeals to such relentless despair in me. In such times as this I have often mired my life in that great writer’s works. I know the depths are calling me when I seek out that master, but he only appeals. Poe is in the outbuilding hidden away so finding him will be difficult, but the search might satisfy the overwhelming sadness that engulfs me. Nevermore sounds soothing, like the approach of doom.

 

I have no idea how to be up for Alex’s 17th Birthday which is Monday. He deserves something special as he is a great person despite having one of the most screwed up mothers in the world. I think if I just disappeared and allowed him to get on with his life with no more interference from me that he would make it well. I am more a detriment to him by now than ever I have been an asset. I guess I will try to take him out for a nice dinner and make sure he at least enjoys that much. I wish I could get him something, but that is beyond me.

 

I wish there was something hopeful and positive I could share with you who read me here, but there just is not anything of that type in my heart. I am sorry to be so disappointing. Maybe another day will come and some of my better characteristics will arise, I doubt it just now, but even when one no longer believes miracles can happen on the odd and weird occasion.

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